Artist, craftsman, entrepreneur Alan Buss is a man with Renaissance style. A former project manager at an architectural and ornamental metal fabricator, Alan Buss designs and builds daring original sculptures, along with wood clocks and birdhouses. Each piece is handcrafted and unique, with details such as hand-pounded roofs and antler-horn perches. Buss also creates custom furniture and lamp bases. “I work with a lot of metals – copper, brass, aluminum,” he says. “And woods, of course.” Buss, who is mostly self-taught, opened his first studio in 1973 in Cedarburg, designing furniture and ornamental wood carvings for galleries and churches before branching out into other media, periodically working for one design firm or another. Today, his work can be found at art fairs, purchased through some of the most prestigious galleries throughout the country, and ordered whole-sale directly from his West Bend studio, Alan Buss Design.
A recent custom piece designed by Buss is a park bench commissioned by Carol Hirschi, producer of the Milwaukee-based Cornerstone Theatre Company. She ordered the piece to commemorate her recently deceased father, who loved dogs. Buss designed a stately yet whimsical bench with dog bone-shaped wood pieces serving as the back and arm rests.
An organic mentality runs though Buss’ art, and he takes pride in his handmade, unusual pieces. “I think 3-D and dream in color” he says. “As an artist you think differently; it’s how you were born. I enjoy creating something no one’s ever seen before – that’s important.”